Any experience with distance learning? - page 2

I have been looking into BSN programs to begin in the fall, with my work schedule online courses seem to be the best option. I have never taken an online course and would like to know if it is worth... Read More

  1. by   Agnus
    I'm sorry the thread I referred to earlier is under general nursing forum. Ther ae some questions about cost. I will get back to you all and answer them as soon as I've had some coffee this a. m. and pryed my eyes ope enough to look up that info.

    Yes some Excelsior exams are very expensive but that cost is misleading if you think of it as just an exam.

    And you must keep in mind that these are not all 3 smemenster hours. I will get back with the specifics as I said.
  2. by   Agnus
    Ok I have it.
    I calculated out this info. using the most expensive test sites. and the most expensive payment plan and assuming you do not qsualify for a military discount.

    For the ADN
    This includes a workshop (not mandetory) to prepare for the Clinical performance in nursing. AND 2 years worth of enrollment fees.

    FOR the RN to BSN
    This includes 3 years of enrollment fees. AND 3 Works shops to prepare for the exams. Again the work shops are not mandetory.

    I was going thi include the info on the RN to MSN but I don't seems to have the fee schedule. I do remember it ran about $100 per Sememster Hours, and is taught on line.

    You have 10 years to complete the BSN and 12-13 to complete the MSN. The time for ADN is 7 years.

    Most people complete the ADN in 24 months and The BSN in 36 Months. That is why I figured in enrollment for those lengths of time.

    They transferred 150 credits from 8 different school for my general education requirements. No one else would begin to consider transfering even half that number.

    Don't worry you don't need that many. The ADN requires 60 Semester hours including the Nursing. And the BSn 120 including the Nursing.

    They are very liberal on what they require under general ED. You can transfer credits take CLEP, Excelsior or many other exams. You can even arrange to have a portofolio evaluated for credit. Like if you have college level learning but no credit they will if necessary with you develop a exam or porfolio requirement just to evaluate your special situation.

    You have support form other students once enrolled, you can chat on line and form study groups. Teh Faculty is very responsive and helpful. They have periodic topic specific chats where you can talk with faculity and students. Or informan chats. You can call and get quick answers or discuss anything.
    Excelsior College
    7 Columbia Circle
    Albany, NY 12203-5159

    This type of learning is not for everyone and depending on what your needs are you might find this more expensive than a traditional school. In my case it was less expensive and taking less time. The exams are tough but I manage to get A's and B's. You are the only one who will keep yourself on track (a big challange for many) and You must seek out your own learn experiences. This is rightly called independent learning.

    You can call write or go on line to get more specific and detailed info without enrolling. Their web site is very extensive and you can download or call for complet exam content booklets. These are free. I am very happy with them. But understand I do know it may not be for you. Ther are fully accredited and recognized in every state. Your specific state board may have specific course requrements that you will have to meet to take boards. So it is best to chek with them as to what they require besides the nursing. Most say Micro, A&P. But there might be some others depending on your state. You can meet all the requirements through regents.

    I hope this helps someone and clarifies some things.
  3. by   James Huffman
    I'm a nursing grad from Excelsior College, and would like to throw in some info. In the first place, it's a little mis-leading to compare costs with other, more traditional programs.

    Studying through Excelsior allowed me to continue working full-time while in the program. I could have finished my degree at a local college but it would have been difficult to work full-time while doing so. (Most nursing programs in my area discourage working full-time while in their programs). This alone off-set some of the seemingly larger costs of the Excelsior program.

    As someone earlier pointed out, too, the cost of a assessment test is not really comparable to a "course" at a traditional school. It's a little like comparing apples and oranges.

    About the clinical exams: while difficult, it's certainly not impossible to pass on the first try. I passed it the first time, and was not even an LPN at the time. (I had experience as a nursing assistant). The main thing to keep in mind is that the observers are not there to "catch" you, they are there to assess your knowledge. This is your chance to show what you know. The critical factors on which they will be assessing you are known in advance, and I thought the observers went out of their way to be fair and reasonable. It is VERY important to be confident, professional, and not allow yourself to be rattled by the one-on-one quality of their observations.

    Finally, Excelsior (like any other program, traditional or non-traditional) is not for everyone. If you are not comfortable with that type of learning, find another, and run with it. At the same time, compare all of your options before making a decision. And be very glad that you live in a time when so many avenues of learning are available.

    Jim Huffman, RN
  4. by   Blessed
    Appreciate all the input from everyone on costs for degree completion!!!
  5. by   robynrn2b
    I apologize for sounding so negative about Excelsior. I really liked being able to take the tests online and it offered alot of flexibility which was great. It's nice if you have kids, because you aren't paying for daycare while you are in school, etc. You do have to be disciplined to study and the tests aren't all that hard. I also got A's and B's. If you go by the Excelsior study guides, you will do fine. Some of the CLEP tests were a little more difficult but I managed to get those too. They did transfer quite a lot of classes which was nice. Like I said earlier, I am just one that totally goes blank and I panic when I know someone is watching me and evaluating me. Maybe I heard too many horror stories about people failing for seemingly trivial things. I just got really nervous about paying the $1300 and then failing. Many people have gotten their degrees this way and for some people it is a wonderful opportunity. I did feel like I was mislead a little, however because I was told that the clinicals were similair to an ordinary day at work and was not told about how critical they are and that there is not much room for error. Obviously you need to demonstrate your knowledge and I understand that but memorizing the critical elements was too much. I just think that you automatically do the critical elements everyday in your job if you are a nurse-you just don't think about it when you are doing it!!-it's just your normal job.
  6. by   mattsmom81
    I got about halfway through the Excelsior program and they kept adding more courses, more fees, yada yada, and I finally just backed out. It bothered me as well to realize I would have to pay them so I could 'prove' I knew what I was doing.

    It troubled me I had to play their little 'competency' game after so many years of competent RN practice... I already passed boards and have been practicing for 20 some years.... so it seemed a bit discriminatory to me...especially 'performing' for them right next to a respiratory therapist or a CNA who has never done my job but can memorize a study guide and jump through the right hoops.....seems to reward the CNA and RT while punishing the ADN and diploma nurse by not acknowledging his/her achievements.

    Maybe I will someday finish that dadburned BSN.. when I'm ready and can see definite gains for me ....but it will have to be through a different source than Excelsior as they rubbed me the wrong way for sure....

    For those who make it work for them, I say more power to ya...and I'm glad the opportunity is there for us to all make the best informed choice for ourselves!
  7. by   lgcv
    Excelsior could not maintain accreditation if they did not evaluate your clinical competency. Just as every other nursing school in the country does in one form or another. That is why everyone regardless of experience goes through it..NLN accreditation.
  8. by   Agnus
    Actually, there is good news, if you are an RN going for BSN. If you enrolled after September 2001, and already have your RN you do not have to do the clinical performance exam nor the alternative to this the portfolio.
    You now get 16 semester hours credit for your ADN and there are 2 of the written exams that you don't have to take anymore either.

    I have watched closely the evolution of excelsior over these 30 years. I took exams 30 years ago (all except the performance exam) things have really improved and excelsior has come more in line with what other schools are doing today than they have for a very long time.

    They provide support (a lot if you take advantage of it) to students today some thing they did not do in the early years.
    Excelsior has matured for the better. Still not perfect for sure, but much better.
  9. by   janetrnc
    I was a member of the first Distance Learning RN-BSN program from Georgia Southern University. It was great. It is different from an online class. We did class by satellite realtime hook up so we were able to interact with the class on campus as well as at other sites. The clinical instructors came to us and we did our clinicals at local sites. The classroom instructors would be with us part time and then on campus part-time. I would not have completed by BSN otherwise because of full time work. The class met in the evenings.